Sunday, June 18, 2006

In the beginning....

1 Thessalonians 5:16

There is never a better time to change how we look at life, than when we are told. Over the last 18 months, life has changed, priorities have changed, and God' purpose for me has become more clear. I began a loose association with Mission of Mercy in November of 2004, taking a medical team to Cambodia, and have made 8 trips there since. The relationship with Mission of Mercy is now formal, and more countries have been added, visited, and planned for.

Things have been moving at a pretty brisk pace over the last few weeks. Many of you have either participated or have declared a desire in your heart to be a member of the medical team that serves the “Forgotten Children” in countries served by Mission of Mercy.

I resigned as Medical Director and Division Chief of Pediatric Critical Care at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in order to follow God’s command to serve in counties where medical care is lacking. I am blessed to be a part of Mission of Mercy serving as their Medical Director, assessing, coordinating, implementing, and delivering medical care to the countries and children they serve. I am still working full time as an intensivist at PCH, but my time off clinical service gives me the opportunity needed to travel. The schedule is hectic, but purpose driven. Since we have started doing our medical trips, you and I have made 8 trips to Cambodia in a year and a half, and have cared for over 10,000 patients. Most importantly, over 10,000 people have witnessed Christ through our work. Our work continues.

Let me go over who the key players are. There are 2 people at MOM who I work with and who support our mission: Jack Eans and Wayde Goodall. Both are passionate about our work, and are excited about what we do. Don Christensen is our “benefactor”, finding funds for us when we need them the most, and working by our side as a member of the medical team. Dr. Troy Nelson is my brother in Christ, having served with me on every single medical trip so far. Kelly Ramsland is my right hand person: she is the “administrative” side of the ministry. All of you have served in some capacity on each team and for that I am thankful.

I have also made several assessment trips this year to countries in need of medical care: Jordan, Gaza, Ethiopia, Egypt and Swaziland. As a result we have identified and begun medical intervention programs in several of those countries:

Egypt: in Cairo, there is a “garbage city” that has a 4 story school house in the middle of it; I identified a floor that we will be building into a medical clinic with exam rooms, a small lab, etc. This will be available for our team when we go there.

Ethiopia: in Addis Ababa there is a medical clinic that will be established for the care of over 2000 MOM children. This should be available for our team when we go there.

Swaziland: we will be starting construction on a medical clinic this month. This should be available for our team when we go there.

Cambodia: we built a medical clinic in the Salaa Hope School in Battambang.

As a result of the assessment trips, I have identified dates for medical teams to those countries. I have also several more assessment trips that I will do next year to add to our list of countries that need help. The table below gives you the dates for the assessment rips, the medical trips and the training trip. I am showing you the whole picture so you can get an idea of the vast scope of the project.

Training trip: Aug 3 2006-Aug 12 2006 Swaziland
Medical trip: Oct 5 2006-Oct 15 2006 Swaziland
Medical trip: Feb 9 2007-Feb 18 2007 Egypt
Medical trip: Mar 23 2007-April 4 2007 Swaziland
Assessment trip: April 16 2007-April 22 2007 Bangladesh
Assessment trip: May 5 2007-May 13 2007 Kenya
Medical trip: May 11 2007-May 20 2007 Ethiopia
Assessment trip: June 4 2007-June 12 2007 India
Assessment trip: July 26 2007-Aug 5 2007 Romania, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon
Medical trip: Oct 19 2007-Oct 28 2007 Cambodia (Dr. Troy Nelson to lead this team)
Medical trip: Oct 19 2007-Oct 28 2007 Swaziland

As you can see, there will be 6 medical trips, one of which is already filled. We are going to have 3 trips to Swaziland since there are over 3000 children there that need our help. Cairo will be interesting as well, with children living in garbage piles who need medical care, and Ethiopia will be in the heart of Africa with over 2000 children who need to be seen. Please let me know and Kelly Ramsland as well which trips you would like to go on. The costs will be between $2200 and $3000 per trip depending on where we go. Kelly should have more details as we move forward. We are using Cain Travel (Lori) as our travel agency. Kelly will be responsible for all administrative stuff: travel, arrangements, etc. She can be reached at 480-250-7183 and at

I thank you all for your dedication, your commitment, and your Christ driven purpose. We will move in the direction He sends us, doing what we can, knowing that we are simply His servants. Please call me, email me, or see me if you have any questions.

In all things give thanks,